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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli civilians’

Why They Hate Us

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Boy, do they hate America.

I’m on a flight in Tanzania, having left Rwanda where we made a second tour of the genocide sites with the impending twentieth anniversary of the slaughter, when I meet a very fine Pakistani family going on safari.

We exchange pleasantries. They have children studying in the UK, as do many upper-class Pakistani families. My wife and I lived in the UK. We find much to talk about. I relate to them all the Pakistani students I knew at Oxford who were regulars at our events. They tell me of their trip to see the mountain gorillas and how they are enjoying Africa.

Suddenly, the father says to me, “I was in Israel recently. I enjoyed it. But I was disgusted at the treatment of the Palestinians who cannot even go from Bethlehem into Jerusalem.”

I explain to him that the checkpoints are relatively new. “They did not exist when I was a student in Jerusalem. They were set up after a wave of terror bombings killed thousands of Israeli civilians. You can hardly blame Israel from trying to stop the slaughter.”

“The slaughter?” he says, “You mean the way Israel massacres Palestinians every day. And it’s all funded by America, who is the biggest murderer in the world. Just look at the 100 people every day being killed in Iraq.”

I raise my eyebrows, trying to remain calm and provoked. “But that’s being done by Islamic terrorists. What does it have to do with America? We Americans died to liberate the Iraqis. We spent more than a trillion dollars of our national treasure on complete strangers to stop them from being slaughtered by Saddam Hussein.”

He ignores the facts and continues his diatribe. “America is now slaughtering everyone in Afghanistan, just to destabilize the region, and blaming everything on Pakistan.”

“America is trying to save Afghanistan from the Taliban,” I counter, “monsters who brutalize women, fanatics that behead those who don’t conform to their religious extremes.”

“Nonsense,” he says, “the Taliban is infinitely more humane that the Americans and their agents in the Middle East, the Israelis.”

By now I’ve had enough and I go on the offensive.

“Why was Osama bin Laden living in Abbotabad, a mile from Pakistan’s West Point? Who was sheltering a man who killed 3000 innocent Americans?”

And here he makes my jaw drop. “Three thousand Americans dead is nothing, a drop in the ocean, compared to how many Muslims America has killed.”

You may wonder why I am relating this story. It’s an isolated incident, right? But it’s not. It’s a sentiment I encountered in so many parts of Africa where I traveled to Rwanda, to again see the genocide sites and meet with government officials, and then to Arusha in Tanzania, to see the criminal courts where the Rwandan genocidaires were tried.

Readers of my columns will know that I am one of Jewry’s foremost defenders of Islam. I remind Jewish audiences constantly that we dare not de-contexualize the current frictions between Jews and Muslims. Saladin welcomed the Jews back to Jerusalem in 1187 when he captured the holy city from the crusaders who massacred every last Jew. The Ottomans took in large numbers of Jews when we were expelled from Catholic Spain and Portugal. Jews flourished in many Islamic lands where the Koran said they would have to be treated as second-class citizens but should otherwise not suffer persecution. I took Dr. Oz, during our recent visit to Israel together, to see the tomb of Maimonides in Tiberius, explaining that the greatest Muslim ruler that ever lived made the great sage his personal physician. Whenever some of my Jewish colleagues speak of Islam as an inherently violent religion, citing verses in the Koran to prove it, I remind them that there are plenty of verses of our own Torah which can be taken out of context and sound pretty violent. It all comes down to how these passages are interpreted.

But with that being said, there is no question in my mind that Islam is undergoing a modern crisis which perhaps only its clerics and lay leaders can rescue it from. Here in Tanzania there was a terrible story just a week ago when two British female Jewish teenagers were attacked with acid by Islamic assailants.

It’s not that imams and are preaching violence, although many unfortunately do. It’s rather that they preach victimhood. America is to blame for their problems. Israel is to blame for their suffering.

Where are the Islamic leaders and clerics who are prepared to say, “We are responsible for our own problems. We are taking a great world religion and turning it insular and away from secular knowledge rather than finding the balance between the holy and the mundane. We are not empowering women to be the equals of men in all spheres. We Palestinians took the largest per capita foreign aid ever given to a people and we allowed corruption and hatred of Israel to squander the funds on bombs and bullets rather than building universities and schools. We elect leaders democratically who then, like Hamas, or Muhammad Morsi, precede to dismantle democratic institutions. We see the Jews as our enemies rather than using them as an example of what we ourselves should aspire to. They returned to their land after long ago being dispersed by foreign European powers and made the desert bloom. We can surely do the same.”

Parents Fight Textbook Trivializing Murder of Israeli Civilians

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Williamson County, TN, resident Laurie Cardoza-Moore, mother of five and the head of an organization of pro-Israeli Christians, says she “appalled” to read in “The Cultural Landscape Curriculum – An Introduction to Human Geography” (list price a whopping $157.53) a social studies textbook her children study at the local high school the following, the following “dilemma”:

“If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism, or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”

“It’s this type of rhetoric that has lead, historically, to the inquisition, to the pogroms, to the Holocaust in Germany,” Cardoza-Moore WSMV TV.

Williamson Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney told the station the textbook, picked by the state of Tennessee, is actually intended for a college-level elective class.

“It’s a course of deep and reflective thought. It’s designed to provoke debate and conversation,” Looney said.

Yes, it’s the first thing that comes to mind when reading the above paragraph, deep and reflective thought.

Cardoza-Moore questions why anyone would debate whether it’s right to attack innocent people for political reasons.

“You’re legitimizing murder because of a political cause. That’s unacceptable,” she said.

Professor James M. Rubenstein, PhD

Professor James M. Rubenstein, PhD

The only Jewish person directly involved in this story is Professor James M. Rubenstein who wrote the offending book. According to his official bio note, Prof. Rubenstein received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1975. He is Professor of Geography at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he teaches urban and human geography.

Prof. Rubenstein has 25 titles to his name, some of them for only $70 or so, list price (although you can get a good few for just 99 cents). One of his titles I just must have is “Making and Selling Cars,” something I’ve been meaning to learn.

I doubt very much that the good professor is a rabid anti-Semite. He probably assigned the updating of the 11th edition to an intern and didn’t bother to proof it. The book appears rather inane, not something you’d take with you to impress your comrades at the Nazi Party picnic in Skokie.

Nevertheless, Cardoza-Moore is calling on Dr. Looney and on county school board members to launch an investigation into curricula that was approved by the Williamson County Superintendent of Curriculum, Tim Gattis. She is also asking for stricter guidelines with regards to the selection of curricula in the future.

“As Americans, we do not pay taxes for our school board members to purchase ‘subpar’ curriculum with numerous mistakes and anti-Semitic views,” she announced. “We want to make sure that the Jewish community feels safe in Williamson County and that we are able to make sure those values are upheld for future generations by what is taught to our children in our schools.”

But even though several parents are calling for the textbook to be removed from high school classrooms, seeing as it promotes anti-Semitic views, they found out Williamson County is probably going to be using the same textbook in the 2013-14 school year, since the state won’t consider a new social studies book until then.

The Tennessee Department of Education told the station that local school districts are free to pick a different book, but it must go through a state approval process.

Just like the one with the dead Israeli civilians did.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/parents-fight-textbook-trivializing-murder-of-israeli-civilians/2013/04/18/

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